Whiskey tastings are becoming an incredibly popular activity among not only spirit enthusiasts but also casual drinkers. So, the Vault Downtown wanted to share this simple, helpful guide on how to get the most out of your next tasting:
Hold the glass directly above your nose, in an upright position, and let the fragrances rise. This allows you to enjoy the first scents while also letting your nose adjust to the alcohol level.
Turn the glass on its side where it is perpendicular to your face. Move it in a straight line upwards to experience each aroma strata. Notice how the aromas blend and change the higher up they are in the glass.
Hold the glass horizontally and directly below your nose. The air circulation will allow the lighter elements to rise to the top of the outer edge of the glass for better access.
Vary your inhalation rate throughout the tasting. This will allow you to notice the difference in how you absorb the aromas and what notes you observe.
Go between sniffing through one nostril, then the other. Nostrils work through a cycle where one is required to handle 80% of the inhalation while the other undergoes a process that disrupts inhalation.
Use the Aroma Wheel to determine which aromatic families you are experiencing. Even though you may experience the same note as someone else, how you experience it can be vastly different.
Drink room temperature, soft, neutral water prior to tasting.
Take a tiny sip to introduce the flavors to your palate. The whisky should also be masticated for at least half a minute to stimulate salivary glands.
Exhale deeply through your nose as soon as you swallow the whisky. This creates harmony between the aromas and the flavor.
Cover the glass after the tasting to ensure that the aromas stay concentrated and the flavors stay bold and expressive.